When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn’t find any. Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house cleaned up and decorated. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself. They go in and make their home there. That person is worse off at the end than at the beginning.” While Jesus was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd spoke up: “Happy is the mother who gave birth to you and who nursed you.” But he said, “Happy rather are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 11:24-28, CEB)
I have read this passage several times and looked at the context, and just wonder, why is this a lectionary text? I mean it is in Luke and it needs to be read, but why these 5 verses together?
It seems to me the spirit here leaves of its own will because it wants a better place. But not finding it goes back and the person has cleaned up their life and made it better, so more spirits come to mess the person up. So Jesus says that person is worse off now than before.
Then we get the weird comment about Mary being blessed. But Jesus turns that as he often does, to blessed are the ones who hear and do God’s will.
So I guess the just here is listen to God and follow where he leads. Love out loud and be blessed by hearing and doing.
Loving People. Loving God.